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Day 5 - IFA International

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New Visual Technologies

New Visual Technologies Gone Today, Here Tomorrow OLEDs will be back when the technology and price is right By Bob Raikes, Meko For the professional analysts and press that attend shows like IFA, it's often what's not shown that’s as interesting as what is. This year, the question might be: where have all the OLEDs gone? Of course, there are OLEDs in new phones and tablets but, unlike in previous years, the likes of Samsung, LG and Sony are not displaying OLED TVs on their stands. Why? First, the TV business is having a hard time. Although the setmakers are supplying the best TVs ever at amazingly low prices, they are not selling enough to make a profit. So at IFA, they want consumers to see today's products, not tomorrow's. Don't delay your purchase is the message. The second factor is that active-matrix OLEDs have proved very hard to make in large sizes. Problems include how to make the high-performance transistors needed to drive the OLEDs, how to seal the displays against oxygen and water, and how to create the RGB patterns that make up the display matrix. AMOLEDs up to 15 inches can be made using ‘shadow mask vapour deposition', but this process doesn't work at larger sizes. Suggestions for alternatives include laserinduced thermal imaging (LITI), inkjet printing and nozzle printing. However, there is no agreement among the companies trying to develop the technology. This is in sharp contrast to the LCD industry, where everybody uses a very similar production process, resulting in much lower development costs. Another approach is to use white OLED material and a filter to produce different colours. Unfortunately, this increases the power consumption dramatically, while adding cost and complication to the overall device structure. This method has, however, been used to make larger OLEDs by Sony and LG. A third factor as to why there are no OLED TVs at IFA 2011 is that there are simply not enough factories of enough scale to make large TV panels. Samsung is building a 'generation 5.5' factory — scheduled to open at the end of 2012 — to make panels up to 55 inches, but these are likely to be expensive. Samsung is also hoping to build a 'G8' factory to compete with LCDs on price. So my prediction is that there will be OLED TVs on show at IFA 2012, but at prices that will lead to what my American friends call 'sticker shock' — you want the product, but you gasp at the price tag. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see a gorgeous-looking 55-inch OLED TV from a brand with a fruit-shaped logo… The huge investments needed and the technical challenges mean that it’s likely to be many years before most of us could afford an OLED TV. So the LCD-makers are right: buy a fantastic LCD TV now, then upgrade in five or six years to OLED. Bob Raikes: principal of European market result consultancy Meko “I wouldn’t be surprised to see a gorgeouslooking 55-inch OLED TV from a brand with a fruit-shaped logo…” 28

New Visual Technologies A Smaller, Brighter Future Hand-held projectors become lighter and more efficient Christian Thevot Head of PR for DLP Products, Europe, Texas Instruments DLP Currently, the two most popular DLP [digital light processing] categories are the notebook companion projector and the embedded product. The former is a device the size of a cell phone that can be connected to a laptop and used for business presentations by people on the move. In the embedded-product area, there are a lot of sub-categories, such as a pico in a cell phone, for which manufacturers including Samsung and network operators such as NTT DOCOMO have already started developing prototypes. There are also digital stills cameras and video cameras with an integrated pico. I think it’s entirely reasonable to say that, over the coming months and years, we are going to see more and more products featuring projectors. How did DLP-based picos come about? We found a way to shrink the Texas Instruments’ DLP technology, which is a chip that produces the images you typically see in the cinema and in about 50% of home projectors. It is now possible to make this chip small enough to be put in a projector that you can fit in your pocket. There are several other pico technologies on market. What distinguishes Texas Instruments’ DLP? We come from the cinema market, so our first aim is optimum picture quality, because this is essential in that environment. As a result, all sizes of our DLP chip offer the same high optical standards. The other important thing, especially in a portable device, is the power efficiency of the chip. What we offer manufacturers is either a chip that offers high brightness but will work for only one hour, or a slightly larger chip that is less luminous but lasts for three hours. Texas Instruments DLP seems to be moving towards supporting other manufacturing companies. Is that correct? Yes. We see the job of Texas Instruments DLP as being to focus on our technology, so “A smaller chip means lower cost for both manufacturers and customers” In the last year, picos, or hand-held projectors, have become increasingly popular around the world. Christian Thevot, Texas Instruments DLP’s Head of PR for DLP Products, Europe, talks to IFA International about this growing market and where the technology is headed… that we are one ingredient of a great product. For example, Acer has produced the C110, which is a pico that works with only one cable by using a USB cable for both power and input. It’s a unique device that is also very easy to use. It is in innovations like this that we see the future. For the uninitiated, how would you define a pico projector? Technologically, we define it as any projector below 500 lumens. But for consumers, the definition is that it can be used on the go and that it can easily fit into a briefcase or your pocket. What is the roadmap for DLP products over the next couple of years? We have just introduced a new HD chip called the Wide XGA, which allows projections in 720p. We are also working on pixel shrinking, which allows us to put more pixels on a smaller chip. And a smaller chip means lower cost for both manufacturers and customers. Hall 7.2A Stand 102 Lighter, cheaper, easier FPR technology aims to popularise mainstream use of 3D TVs LG Display is showcasing its 3D TVs using filmpatterned retarder (FPR, polarised glasses type) 3D panels at IFA 2011. “Whereas first generation shutter glass technology introduced us to the possibility of 3D TV, next generation FPR makes 3D practical for mainstream use,” said LG Display CEO Mr Kwon Young Soo. “FPR will effectively allow manufacturers to create an incredible quality 3D TV experience that is healthy, convenient and affordable – all factors that hindered the popularity of first generation 3D products.” Thanks to this new technology, LG Display expects 3D TVs to capture over 10% of the global LCD TV market in 2011, which will be a total of 220m sets including both 3D and 2D TVs. With FPR 3D panels, LG aims to obtain more LG Display glasses than 70% share of the 3D TV LCD market in 2011, which would be between 15m and 20m units. LG Display claims that its FPR ensures long hours of comfortable viewing, due to the use of lightweight polarised glasses that emit no electromagnetic waves. FPR clip-on shades are also available for those who wear prescription glasses, alleviating the need for wearing two sets of glasses with SG displays. Finally, whereas SG glasses restrict flexible head movement, which cause the glasses to go dark, FPR reportedly allows users more options for movement, without losing the 3D picture. Hall 11.2 Stand 101 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Tuesday 6 th September 2011 29

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